Info-Edge (India) Ltd, one of India’s dominant internet-based consumer services firms, has reported 40% jump in net profit to Rs 21.92 crore for the third quarter ended December over the year ago period with an equally strong 27.5% increase in operating revenues for the quarter. However, these are standalone numbers and do not include for instance earnings of its subsidiaries Allcheckdeals Pvt Ltd and Applect Learning that made losses last financial year.
At mid-day, the stock was trading at Rs 571.9, down 0.8% giving it a market cap of Rs 3,122 crore ($678 million).
The firm, that operates a bunch of portals in the areas of online recruitment (naukri.com), matrimony (jeevansathi.com) and property search (99acres.com) also recorded strong sequential growth in earnings of 22% (over Q2’11) and a reasonable 5.5% increase in topline over the previous quarter ended September’10.
The performance looks all the more encouraging with operational profit (excluding other and exceptional income) shooting up 54.7% over the same quarter the previous year. Operating profit on a sequential basis rose 27.6%.
Ambarish Raghuvanshi, CFO and Director, Info Edge (India) Limited, said, in a statement, “This was a quarter to execute and capture growth. Two businesses performed really well i.e. Naukri and 99acres, benefiting from the business cycle and the improved competitive position. The operating leverage has helped expand margins at the operating level.”
The company’s other income at Rs 6.7 crore was lower than same quarter previous year but was a tad higher than sequentially. Raghuvanshi said, “As regards the Other Income, with an increase in interest rates, the contribution will improve.”
Income from Recruitment Solutions grew 24% while 99acres.com grew 74% during the quarter over the same quarter the previous year. The firm disclosed that business verticals other than recruitment solutions (including 99acres.com, Jeevansathi.com) cut down their losses to Rs 2.7 crore at the EBITDA level compared to a loss of Rs 3.8 crore for the same quarter last year.
A peek at the cost heads show, the company has gone marginally slow in its ad spends even as its wage bill has risen almost 27% for the third quarter on a Y-o-Y basis. Besides increments this would also capture more employees recruited by the firm.
The company that had raised Rs 170 crore through its public issue in November 2006 has utilised Rs 151 crore as of December 2010. Last March ace venture capitalist Ram Shriram’s Sherpalo Ventures and Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers — pre IPO investors in Info Edge(India) had exited their four year old investment in firm with 2x ‘net’ returns.
Early this week a senior company executive was quoted as saying that the company intends to spend a portion of its Rs 400 crore cash reserve for acquisition of other internet businesses.